NEW DELHI, Aug 3: The Home Ministry will seek more time from the Union Cabinet to fully operationalise the Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks & System (CCTNS), which aims at bringing together databases of security organisations.
Sources said the Ministry is in touch with all stakeholders to obtain the latest status of the ambitious programme and will subsequently put it before the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for extension of timeline beyond March 2015.
"No new funds will be sought from the government but only more time. That would be done soon as the last time the Cabinet did not clear an extension for the project," the sources said.
The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had recently not approved extension for the key initiative of the erstwhile UPA government as it wanted to review the project before giving its nod.
Home Ministry officials had then said the government wanted to examine whether Rs 2,000 crore allocated in 2009 for the project was enough.
In the 2015-16 budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had not allocated any funds to CCTNS, conceived by former Home Minister P Chidambaram after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
In the 2013-14 budget, Rs 120 crore was earmarked for CCTNS while Rs 37.23 crore had been given in 2012-13 budget.
Under the project, approximately 14,000 police stations throughout the country were planned to be connected apart from higher offices in police hierarchy.
The Rs 2,000-crore project, approved in 2009, spans across all the states and Union Territories. As per the plan, it would connect a total of more than 21,000 locations.
The CCTNS would be a comprehensive database for crimes and criminals, and it would be easier for the law enforcement agencies to track down a criminal moving from one place to another.
The project aims at creation of a nation-wide networking infrastructure for evolution of IT-enabled sophisticated tracking system around "investigation of crime and detection of criminals".
Chidambaram had said police stations in the country were virtually unconnected islands and there was no system of data storage, sharing or accessing data. He had said there was no system under which one police station can talk to another directly and there was no record of crimes or criminals that can be accessed by a Station House Officer, except the manual records relating to that police station.